Oil firm drags Nigerian lawmakers to court over subsidy fund

Innocent Anaba

25 Jone 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – INTEGRATED Oil and Gas Limited, an oil marketing firm, has dragged the Nigerian House of Representatives and Mr. Farouk Lawan-led House Ad-hoc Committee on the Monitoring of the Subsidy Regime before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The company is contending in the suit that when the committee was set up, it wrote its Managing Director, MD, to make presentation on its activities as they affect the importation and distribution of petroleum products, which he honoured.

It said that while the MD was making the presentation, no issue of impropriety was levelled or raised against him, neither was any impression or indication given that there was any discrepancy. According to the company, its MD left, convinced that he satisfied the committee and provided all necessary information about its operations with regard to the subsidy, only for the committee to come up with its findings, alleging impropriety against it and a resolution that it should refund N13.2 billion.

Other defendants in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Independent Corrupt Practices and Commission, ICPC, and the Inspector-General of Police.

The oil firm wants the court to determine whether having regard to the provision of Section 6(1) and (6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, it was competent for the committee in the exercise of its powers under Section 88(1)(a and b) (I and ii) of the constitution to take a decision or adjudge that petroleum products in respect of which it received subsidy refunds in the sum N13.2 billion from the Federal Government was not sustainable and, therefore, not good enough to attract any subsidy payment.

The firm also wants the court to determine whether it was lawful for the any of the defendants to act or take any action or step against it or any of its officers in respect of any matter relating to or arising from the committee’s report as adopted or approved by the House in its resolution passed on April 25, 2012 as it affects it.

It also wants the court to make a declaration that by virtue of Section 6(1) and (6)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, the resolution of the House by adopting the subsidy report particularly were it concerns it, is ultra vires and consequently unconstitutional, null and void.

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